Israel’s right-wing President Reuven Rivlin last week was surprisingly chosen as one of the “heroes of 2014” by the liberal British daily newspaper The Guardian.
Rivlin’s predecessor, Shimon Peres, was much more a darling of the international media due to his willingness to surrender large swaths of the biblical Land of Israel in return for a “peace” agreement.
But The Guardian noted that Rivlin, too, had made a point of “standing up for the civil rights of Palestinians” and condemning bigotry emanating from all sectors in the Jewish state, making him an “unlikely hero.”
For many, Rivlin is a prime example of ethical conservatism. He indeed takes very seriously issues of equality, and insists that Israel’s Jewish majority must treat its minority countrymen with fairness. At the same time, for Rivlin, that does not translate into surrendering to the demands of the Palestinian nationalist movement.
Rivlin is on record as staunchly opposing the division of Jerusalem and the evacuation of Jews from Judea and Samaria, the so-called “West Bank.”
Those little tidbits were largely left untouched in the Guardian article.